Category Archives: interviews

Duran on Film!

Duran Duran has been one busy band lately!  At least, it feels that way to me as I think that I could spend all day, everyday just trying to keep up with the latest!  After all, the band is on tour (woohoo!!!) and has been doing much press, especially since they have a new DVD coming out (can’t wait!) and will be playing the Olympics in less than a month.  Thus, I think it might be good for all of us to spend part of our Saturday catching up with some of the latest video clips.  If I have missed some (and I probably did), please link them in a comment!  The more Duran clips, the better! 

Daybreak in the UK on June 28, 2012:

I’ll keep my comments brief so that you all just enjoy the clips but I do have to comment on a few things.  First, every time I see a clip of the DVD, I swear I get all excited all over again!  Those UK shows were something special and if the DVD can capture 10% of that, we are all in for a treat!  Second, hearing Simon tell the story of his vocal problem of last year just makes me appreciate that he did regain the use of his voice.  It amazes me how removing himself from the focus of getting better helped.  That is advice we should all remember when facing problems in our own lives.  Lastly, I got a kick of Roger’s worry that some thing horrible will happen before every show.  This sentiment sure shows how human he is.  🙂

CNN on June 29, 2012:

Here’s my advice to Simon:  No more tweeting after you have been drinking!  People pay attention to what you say and will ask you about it!  As for the interview, I liked how the interviewer used Girl Panic to ask Duran about whether they plan to keep making music!  Research is a good thing!

Fuse TV Part 1 on June 28, 2012:

I absolutely adore hearing stories like these!  Two of them I had not heard before!

Part 2:

My response to Roger in this one:  I sure hope I can sense the chemistry between band members when watching the DVD!  ;D  Also, I have to agree with Simon that their audience isn’t ready or old enough to be content with a mid or low tempo performance. 

Press Conference in Poland from June 25, 2012:

While there was a lot of discussion surrounding football (soccer for us Americans), I am sure that I’m not the only one who heard that Duran plans to work with Mark Ronson again!  According to Nick, the plan is to start writing in February and to bring Mark in during the early summer of next year.  Obviously, as a huge fan of AYNIN, I couldn’t be more thrilled with this information!  On a deeper level, I, sometimes, have to take a step back and realize how lucky we are that this band we love is continuing to tour, to make new music.  We are truly lucky.

I hope that I’m caught up with the latest news in Duranland and I hope I helped you as well!  Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!


Return to Now

After the GMA appearance yesterday, I saw a flurry of posts from friends, both commending the performance of the band, and lamenting (if not panning) the interviewer for focusing on the band as though they’ve come straight from 1985 as though the band has done nary a thing since the chords of Rio or Girls on Film were recorded.

I have to be honest here, I didn’t think too much about the interview.  I don’t know if it’s because I’ve gotten so used to the band being billed as a nostalgia act that I just don’t pay attention, or if it was because it was such a joy to see MOST of my favorites on TV for an interview that I just didn’t hear what the interviewer was saying. (I’ll just say it: it’s time to include Dom in the band. He’s been around a long time and he looks like he belongs there anyway at this point. I don’t care. Send me all the hate mail you’d like…call for my public flogging. I’m going on vacation in a few days anyway, so I’m throwing caution to the wind!)  Where was I?  Oh yes, the interview.  It was only later in the day when I watched it again that I really took notice of just how intent she (Lara Spencer) was to stick to the past.  I winced a bit when she asked them how it was to get back together after thirty years, and then I had to remind myself that this was not 2003.  It wasn’t even 2005, or even 2007.  It’s 2012.  Their latest album has been out for over a year now.  She even mentioned it herself when she commented that it hit #1 on iTunes. (I’m going to be even more honest here, I don’t care if it hit that on iTunes for 30 damn seconds, I’m glad the band holds on to that.  All You Need is Now is SO worthy of that number one spot and I’ll never stop being proud of them for writing such a fantastic album.)  I just don’t understand why the press is so apt to ignore the present when it comes to Duran Duran.

Do we still live in times of backlash when it comes to this band?  Sure, they have worn and occasionally still wear make up.  Name bands who don’t at this point in time.  There’s not many.  Yeah, they’re still good looking. (thank goodness!!)  Yep, their fans are still primarily female, although there are more than a few really good men out there that love their music as much as I do.  I’m lucky to count several of them as my friends, actually!  Does that really all add up to discounting them to nostalgia?  Here’s the real question: what about their music???  When does that actually count for something?

Sometimes, I stop and wonder if any of this bothers the band.  I mean, it was one thing to be a pop idol back in the 80’s. I’ve read enough to know that the band never minded being idols to their fans, they wanted to be famous and they were willing to do whatever it took for that to happen.  (Goal successfully reached!)  I have to believe that at some point, they were hoping to be known for more than just making young girls scream.  Sure, we fans have grown up and while we might all still scream for more when we see them live on stage, their music resonates.  While we fans take them seriously (and still have fun all the while), it would seem   at least to me that the press never has.  Do you think that bothers them?

I suppose the band can either fight it or embrace it and continue to work towards whatever personal goals they have on their own. While I sit here writing and contemplating, I recognize that the press can be very much like a tidal wave, and sometimes it’s just better to let the wave do it’s thing and help you get places in the long run than fight mother nature.

While that method seems to work for the band, I know I’m not alone when I say that as a fan – it’s really tough to sit back and see the hard work of thirty years diminished to a few shining moments that happened decades ago.  It’s difficult not to feel personally affronted, and yet if it doesn’t bother the band, perhaps we need to take our cue from them.  They certainly didn’t write All You Need is Now (single) with absolutely nothing in mind.  It really is all up to us to find ourselves in the moment.  It’s never really been about what the press or critics have said about them, it’s been about you and I…and the band.


Promotion Clips and Excitement

Could my blogs get any later in the day?  Of course, the answer is yes.  I still have over 4 hours in this Saturday.  I don’t really have a good excuse to the tardiness of this blog.  Today was the first day that I didn’t go anywhere in months.  Months.  I know that I confused my poor cat, which couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t jumping out of bed to get ready to go.  While part of me thought it might be good to take this day to get a lot done, the other part of me preferred to do not much.  I did get a few things done, in between naps (I took two!), including a few Duran related items!  First, I hooked up my new blu-ray player in order to be ready for the upcoming release of A Diamond in the Mind.  (By the way, I’m sure that Rhonda will either be entertained or horrified that it took me since the end of April to do this task!)  The second thing I did was to try to catch up on the news front, the Duran news front, that is!  Some of what I found I will be sharing here!

Obviously, part of what I learned about what has been happening in Duranland has to do that upcoming DVD/Blu-Ray release.  Apparently, the band announced a digital premiere of it on facebook.  The news release can be read completely here.  I’ll summarize what I understand about it here by using those fantastic journalistic questions of who, what, when, where, why and how.

Who:  Obviously Duran Duran

What: “Duran Duran to stream their latest concert DVD, A Diamond In The Mind with EXCLUSIVE Audio Commentary and LIVE Q&A.”  As I understand it, this commentary and Q&A session will be special to this streaming, which I’m sure is done to encourage viewing.

When:  July 8th at 2 pm EST 
For some people, like me, this would be the first chance to see it and, for others, the DVD will already be available.  Again, though, I guess with the additional commentary and Q&A session, the date isn’t so important.  I do find it interesting that it is on a Sunday afternoon.

Where:  Facebook through some application called Qello.
Is this a case of Duran acknowledging the number of fans on Facebook or a case of them encouraging fans to join facebook?  Both?  No matter, I find it interesting that they are once again acknowledging social networking like they did with the youtube streaming of the show directed by David Lynch last spring. 

How:  This application, Qello, will cost $4.99 for a 30 day all access membership. 
I know nothing about this app, but it appears to be new based on this quote from the news release:  “The program launches June 18th with several weeks of festivities on the Duran Duran Facebook page, including Digital Premiere ticketing, and VIP Ticket and CD giveaways. To promote the Premiere, and make the experience more social, fans that post about the event via Facebook will gain access to a special sneak preview.”
Will this $4.99 be worth it?  Is it lame that they are charging money for this streaming?  Like many other things related to Duran, I find myself assuming that I will be purchasing this app in order to watch, assuming that I can figure out what to do when the time comes!  I’m such a sucker!

Now, if all of that didn’t get you excited for ADITM, my friend, Faby, found a lovely, lengthy preview on youtube, which I will now share with all of you after she shared with me:

Of course, beyond ADITM, there have been TV and radio appearances.  I am focusing here on the TV appearances because I haven’t been able to find many (most) of the radio interviews.  If you know where to find them, please post the link for me and everyone else!  Thanks!  As for the TV appearances, I know that Simon appeared on Loose Women in the UK.  I also read about appearances on Sky Sunrise, ITV Daybreak and CNN.  Again, I completely suck because the only one I could find was Loose Women, which I have included below.

My reaction to this clip was that it was enjoyable despite being like every other interview on TV with the list of successes in the beginning and the video montage, which, of course, included Rio!  I’m not sure what the deal was with the bananas but I like seeing the silly side of Simon!  On a more serious note, one comment I found interesting was when Simon stressed that the band only focused on the songs and not the videos, back in the day.  Of course, I think that they focused on the music more but following that statement up with the intelligence of the managers imply that the managers did everything with the video.  I always had the impression that the band gave input to the videos.  Am I wrong?  Also, on a serious note, I loved the statement about how ADITM was a celebration of being able to sing again.  On a personal level, the UK tour felt like a celebration for me, too!

Now that my blu-ray player is hooked up, I have seen that long preview, and had Simon describe ADITM as a celebration, I’m really ready to see it!!!  I can’t be the only one, right?  Right???? 


Funny…or Not?!

I thought I would take a break from the usual deep thoughts to find something to share with all of you.  Thus, I found myself on youtube and tried to pick out a song, a video, a something that would catch my attention and yours.  After a bit of searching, I decided that I should pick out an interview.  I like interviews!  Interviews give a little bit or more of insight into the band.  Now, the only question was which one.  After all, I have shared quite a few on facebook and twitter as part of the daily questions or today in Duran history.  I wanted to find something that would be new to a lot of people.  I picked out a clip from 2004.  This interview featured John, Simon and Roger and was on some show in the UK.  I know nothing about the show or the interviewer.  Perhaps, someone can give us more information on it and whether or not this type of interview is common!  Now, here’s the clip!

Obviously, the clip is meant to be funny!  It isn’t filled with tough, thought-provoking questions.  In fact, it isn’t filled with many questions at all.  It is more about showcasing the band and their history in talking about a “comeback”.  Does this make sense in 2004?  In one way, it does.  In another way, it does not.  For the general public, Duran Duran hadn’t been around for years or even a decade.  For those of us in the know, we knew that they had always been around.  Thus, it could be annoying that the interview was framed in such a fashion.  On the other hand, maybe, it isn’t so bad.  Maybe, it was good in 2004 to talk about a comeback, to emphasize Duran’s attempt to get back into the spotlight.  What do you think?

Now, I have to admit I enjoyed Duran’s reactions.  Poor Roger couldn’t keep much of a straight face with some of the questions.  John and Simon did better with “acting” and tried to seem annoyed at some of the questions.  I have to admit that I smiled quite a bit at John’s reaction to the question about grandkids or Simon’s reaction to his revealing that he has been married for awhile!  I also loved when John asked if a “rockin'” type song would be “Eye of the Tiger” or when the interviewer included “Walk Like an Egyptian” as a Duran hit!  Talk about placing Duran in the early/mid 80s!  The only part that didn’t really amuse me much was the idea that Duran needed famous collaborations.  That hit home a little too much after the whole RCM deal with Timbaland and Timberlake.  Interestingly enough, they didn’t really seem all excited about that idea even in a joking manner except for maybe Roger. 

I tend to be super critical of Duran interviews.  I usually think that the questions asked are too surface, too common, too annoying.  They typically seem like they haven’t done any research or know very, very little about Duran.  In this case, they didn’t try.  It feels like they knew that they couldn’t do a regular, serious interview well.  Therefore, instead of trying to be serious, they would embrace the silly.  I can appreciate that.  I admit that the interview at least amused me to some extent.  What do the rest of you think?


Australian Interviews

Some days, I’m not very focused.  Today is definitely one of those days.  I could blame the desperate need for a break from work, which will be coming after next week.  I could blame it on the fact that I got 11 hours of sleep, which shows how tired I was!  I could blame it on the anticipation of Duranie alerts about presales and more shows in the States.  I could blame it on all of the above!  On days like today, I find it necessary to take a step back from the insanity, the merry-go-round of life and of fandom.  This means I will head over to my parents for a home cooked meal and do a little shopping with my mom.  It also means that I will not comment over the fact that there appears to be a presale on Monday for the show in Durham, North Carolina.  Nah, I’ll wait until tomorrow to comment on that.  Who knows?  Maybe then there will be more news on the touring front!  Speaking of touring, Duran Duran continues to tour Australia.  While there, they have been doing some interviews.  A couple of those interviews have been available to people like me, on the other side of the world.  Perhaps, watching these will ground me and give me focus, too!

The first interview I saw the other day was from an interview with John and Simon at the Mix 94.5.  You, too, can view the interview here.  I was a little confused when I clicked on it to view as they had one clip labeled as Duran Duran In Full.  Yet, below the video were other clips of them to view that were not included in the video “In Full”.  I highly recommend watching all of the clips.  Overall, I thought that both Simon and John looked relaxed and seemed in good spirits.  They didn’t seem to mind any of the questions and seemed to be enjoying their time in Australia.  The interviewer asked some familiar questions, but some questions that were not as common.  This probably is the best way to approach interviewing a band that is fairly well known to a lot of people but maybe not to everyone. 

Some of the questions include how big of shows they have played, how they replace the love they feel on stage when they are not on stage, what moments in the band’s history that they wished they had captured but didn’t, how invested they were in those early videos, what happened with Simon’s sailing adventures, what John knows about sailing, what they do during their free time on tour, how well they can get around without having people recognize them, what the rivalry between Duran and Spandau was like, how popular Duran was in Australia, what they would tell their daughters about guys like themselves in 1980s, what they think about social media, what music they are listening to and more.  They also asked them a series of “quickie” questions that they weren’t suppose to answer with a lot of detail, which was unfortunate as some I definitely wished for more info!

Some answers that I was most interested in included when John said that there is no longer big gigs or small gigs, instead the current show is just THE gig.  Simon pointed out that if they are committed to making this current show the best show, then they know that they entertained the people.  Another response that caught my attention is Simon talked about how people dealt with the capsizing of Drum back in 1985 that could have resulted in a very bad outcome for Simon and the rest of the crew.  For the first time ever, I heard Simon acknowledge how much people struggled, emotionally, to that event.  Some people clearly showed that it was traumatic and some never returned to sailing after that.  This, I suppose, says something about Simon that he was able to overcome whatever emotions he had to get back on the boat and to still loving sailing today.  Of course, I was curious as to what their answer might be to whether or not they get recognized walking around and how they deal with it.  Simon said that he gives off vibes to show that he is not approachable whereas John said that people could give off signals that says I am exactly who you think I am, approach me now.  Fascinating.  Would that translate to that Simon would not be friendly if you saw him out in public but John would?  I don’t know, but it does make me wonder.  As far as the question about what to tell their daughters about guys like themselves, John sort of avoided the question by saying he hoped it would never happen and Simon said that you can’t tell them to avoid guys like them because then you might be pushing them into a worse situation.  Are these statements an insight into their general parenting?  I don’t know but I can wonder.  Some of their answers during the “quickie” questions were fun, including that Nick takes the longest to get ready, John likes bacon when “hungry like the wolf” and Simon like porridge.  Of course, the answer I wished they had explained was that they recognize “regular fans who follow they around”.  How many fans do they recognize?  How many fans would fit into this category?  How would they define “follow around”?  Two or more shows on tour?  10 shows a tour?  Would these be fans they seen at places outside of the concert venue?  Oh, to be able to ask follow up questions… 

The other interview I saw was on Mix 102.3 and can be seen here.  This interview unlike the previous one was that it was just John and the interviewer was a fan who had won a contest.  Before I talk about the interview itself, can I just say how many of us would love, love, love to interview one or more band members?  Anyway, I thought she did a good job.  I would have been horribly nervous, especially if it was John who I had the chance to interview!  I wish that there wasn’t music playing in the background because they made it difficult to hear, at times.  The interview starts with a question about Diamond in the Mind, the upcoming DVD.  I wish that John said exactly when it will be out, how to purchase it, etc. but, alas, he didn’t.  He did say that he believes it will be on TV in Australia!  How cool!  I would love if that happens here!  Then, the next question was in regards to the upcoming tour plans.  Nothing was said beyond Europe in the summer.  John was asked about what tours/bands/artists he wished he had seen but didn’t.  His answer was very John Taylor with talking about Chic, Sex Pistols, David Bowie, the Beatles, etc.  The next question was about accessibility to music now with the ability to download and the internet.  The final question was about whether or not John had a bucket list.  He talked about places he would like to travel to and sexual positions he still hasn’t tried!  Naughty!

Overall, I enjoyed both of these interviews.  I like getting a little insight into what they think and do.  I also like that they take me away from all of the drama that comes with being part of Duranland.  For 5, 10 or 15 minutes, I forget about presales and I forget about drama between fans.  I just get to smile, laugh and enjoy Duran.  Just what I needed on a day like today!


Quality of Interviews

The Portland show last night sounds like another success for the band, which is great.  I have spent part of my day watching clips from the show and getting a better understanding of how the screens work.  In my search for all things Duran, I caught a new interview from Portland, which you can view here.  While I love watching and hearing interviews but I have to admit that I’m getting a little tired of the silly interviewers and the poor quality of questions.

Can anyone remember the last time Duran was interviewed by a male unless it was a radio interview?  It also seems to me that they are interviewed by women and women who are giggling or seem a bit nervous or something.  Now, I can understand this to some extent since the members of Duran are not only famous but also are good looking.  Yet, I wonder why these interviewers can’t control their nervous excitement better.  It is their job after all.  This one actually confused Roger for Andy!  At one point, she asks whose lap she can come sit on?!  Really?!  Who does that?!  Your job is to interview them, not flirt with them!  Then, of course, she spent a lot of time talking herself when she could have been asking them questions or allowing the fans in the audience to ask questions.  For example, she talked about how many bands have been ignoring Portland.  Okay.  Why we do need to know this?  Then, of course, I was frustrated by the questions that were asked by her.

One of the first questions she asked was about what they can’t live without while on tour.  I’m okay with that question but then she dived into who has an iPhone and who has a Blackberry.  Why do we care about that?  Even Roger asked if this is a communication conference as opposed to an interview.  Of course, she followed up with some other questions about being tour, including who is the biggest diva and who is the biggest prankster.  Based on the question about pranks, I wondered if she had any clue about what Duran is like but then later she clearly knew that John is sensitive and asked him about when the last time he cried.  I couldn’t figure her out.  Then, when he answered in an uncomfortable but forthcoming manner, she didn’t know what to do with that.  He talked about a scene in a movie in which a character had lost his father, which John could relate to, and she didn’t know how to follow up on that.  Clearly, he could connect because he lost his father like this character.  Duh.  Quickly changing the subject, she asked about being metrosexual.  Hasn’t that topic been talked about to death with this band?  There were so many questions that could have been asked that would have been more current. 

There are many questions that I wish she had asked but didn’t.  One thing I would have asked about is the difference between the setlists for the UK rehearsal shows and these shows.  I would have asked why they bothered to rehearse songs like Secret Oktober and Shadows, if they were not planning on playing them.  Maybe I would have asked if they were aware that most of their fans are sick of hearing HLTW?  I would have asked about Simon’s voice.  Yes, it has been documented that he went through vocal therapy to get his range back but is that continuing?  What is he doing on tour to ensure that his voice remains in good form?  Then, I think about a lot of fans who are so dang focused on the charts, the album sales, and the ticket sales.  I could ask how much that stuff really matters to them.  I would ask if there is a plan to get them back in the media spotlight.  I’m sure that a lot of people would want to know about the plan for Girl Panic since the video is coming out in November.  I could go on and on and I’m sure I am not the only one who could.

My point being that interviews are a chance to learn something new about the band but about current events with the band.  I don’t want to hear about their metrosexual qualities anymore.  I want to know about Duran and their career now in the fall of 2011.  That said, I would still watch the video because the boys look good and handle the interview well. 


YouTube Live with Duran Duran

Yesterday afternoon, I spent some time watching Duran Duran on YouTube live.  For those of you who did not see it, it was an almost hour long live program on YouTube where the band members were interviewed and received questions from both a live audience and via youtube.  In my opinion, these types of things can either be really fun or really annoying depending on both the interviewer and the questions received.  In this case, initially, I was concerned that this would be one of the annoying ones but was pleased to find out that it was enjoyable instead!

The program began with a young female interviewer (why are they always female???) who tried to introduce the band.  This one seemed to not know very much about them and relied on typical Duran questions regarding the new album, working with Mark Ronson, videos, fashion, etc.  Unfortunately, she didn’t always know how to respond to their answers and even when she did, they seemed off.  For example, she asked them to explain their writing process and she didn’t have anything to say in return after they talked about just jamming together until something catches someone’s attention.  She also commented that John looked tan after he said that he lived in Southern California.  Really??  John is tan??  Luckily for her and for me, the band began taking over and started filling in the empty space with joking and teasing each other.  For me, this is the best thing to see!  First, I heard John give Simon a hard time about his weird greenish shoes, which particularly entertained me because I actually commented on them to myself as soon as I saw them!  So silly!  Then, there were discussions about how Roger wasn’t going to be allowed to wear clothing for the next tour.  Along the lines of fashion, I loved the question about what they think each color sounds like and they actually tried to answer it!  Seeing them getting along so well and having fun always reassures me!  I truly believe that if they are enjoying themselves like this then it doesn’t matter what the album is doing, sale and chart wise.  Beyond this entertainment, I also learned some things.

I learned that the band doesn’t consider the shows they are doing now as “the big tour”.  They didn’t mention when that would start but did say soon.  Is it wrong of me to wish that the big tour starts in the UK?  When talking about tour dates, they did say that they were trying to get dates firm for the US again starting in September.  Good to know!  Must start saving as soon as I return!  They also mentioned Antony Price when talking about the clothing that will be used for this big tour.  Again, is it wrong for me to be excited by the idea of them going back to their roots?  Of course, their use of social media was discussed.  John repeated his idea that social media has allowed the fans to not only be in contact with them but with each other.  (Note to readers:  Rhonda blogged about this before.)  They also said how this format allows them to be in contact with fans in a way that is much more COMFORTABLE for them.  Hmm…something to think about!  Speaking of thinking…

One of the themes that seemed to come again and again during this was where the new album fits with the rest of Duran’s history.  Musically, Nick said that this album couldn’t have happened without Red Carpet Massacre.  That really got me thinking and I really wished that someone could have asked him a follow up question.  I don’t think that RCM taught them something new in terms of music or in terms of technology so why did RCM have to happen?  Is it an attitude thing?  Is it that they had to make something like that with “big time producers” of the day to realize that they should just be themselves?  What?  Then, when asked about how the new songs were fitting in with the old songs live, the answer was that they fit in seamlessly as they were done with the same tools.  That fascinates me, especially after Rhonda mentioned how she didn’t even notice how many new songs were played.  Could this be the reason?  If so, that pleases me.  Of course, they also talked about how they do try to change some of their classics to make them fresh.  Simon talked about how they changed the intro to Planet Earth and how that was really working for them. 

Lastly, there were discussions about how the business had changed and what advice they would give to new, upcoming artists.  Roger talked about how important it was to have a great live performance because nothing can replace that and I completely agree.  John talked about some of the things that helped Duran.  First, he talked about how there was this relationship between their managers and MTV and through this relationship came the idea of doing videos in exotic locations.  He, then, jokingly, asked what youtube would like to see.  He also mentioned that EMI, their record label in the UK, would tell Capitol, their US record label what to do and that this wouldn’t happen now for British bands.  Clearly, they made it seem much more difficult to become successful now. 

This program had a bit of everything.  It had some laughs like when John talked about how many times U2 has used the same, classic 4 chords in their songs and Duran hadn’t indicating more creativity.  It also gave me a bit to think about, including Duran’s history and the music business today.  Now, if I could have just figured out a way to record it in order to keep it with the rest of my Duran collection…


Loose Women

I apologize for the lateness of the blog.  I have gotten far behind the Duran happenings due to losing my beloved kitty.  I admit that I haven’t been very focused and have had lots of interruptions with people contacting me to express their condolences, which I completely need and appreciate.  Nonetheless, I did have a chance to see the band on the UK’s Loose Women and enjoyed every minute of it.  I only watched it once and admit that I didn’t hear every statement made but I did have a few comments.  Go figure.

I think many Duranies were excited about this particular show because, I believe, it is the first one where we have seen Duran perform a new song, their current single, “All You Need Is Now.”  Now, I can only imagine that playing a song for the first time in front of an audience might be unnerving.  I know that I saw them perform “Night Runner” at the fan show in June of 2007, at what was probably their first performance of that song.  Based on that performance, I did not expect much as that early performance of “Night Runner” seemed to me to be awkward for the band.  They did not seem at all comfortable.  Simon, in particular, seemed to be having a hard time figuring out how or when to move.  To me, this indicated that the band wasn’t all that comfortable with the new album and the direction that they were taking.  Therefore, I thought that this performance might be equally as telling about how they are feeling with their new material.  Based on what I saw, they are COMPLETELY comfortable with it.  They feel good about it!  Simon seemed to know exactly what to do with himself during the song, physically.  John and Simon kept sneaking glances at each other in a “look at how cool this is” fashion.  The chorus was a particular high note with the vocals of Simon, John, Anna and Dom blending together nicely.  Overall, they seemed happy.  I can’t be more happy that they are happy with this new music.  This makes me truly looking forward to a tour and seeing this song, in particular, live.  Of course, there was a lot more to the show then just this performance.

The fun, having-a-good-time feel ran through the interviews, especially when all four of them were being interviewed at the same time.  I had a hard time following because so many people were talking and laughing at once!  I noticed that they were smiling the whole time.  I don’t think I have ever seen Nick smile so much at one time!  Of course, I had a good laugh, as well, when Simon struggled to come out after his introduction as it appears as if he might fall!  He handled it well but I know that I was entertained by the moment.  Besides the solid performance and the carefree spirit of the interviews, I did gleam a bit of information as well.

There were three comments that I took note of.  First, I noticed that the interviewers said that the official release in February was to coincide with the 30th anniversary of Planet Earth, their first single.  Fascinating.  This was a rumor a couple of months ago and now appears that it might really be true.  I even blogged about it at the time!  When I first blogged about it, I wasn’t too keen on the idea.  Now, I’m not sure.  I like the idea of having AYNIN have a separate release date to show its significance but I also like the idea of connecting the new with the old.  After all, isn’t this album about celebrating the classic spirit of Duran Duran?  Besides, AYNIN will have a separate date with the early downloadable release next Tuesday via iTunes.  It seems more like a win now.  Second, I noticed that when asked about Mark Ronson being a fan, John commented that it was a lot better than being with a non-fan.  Hmm…is that a comment about Timbaland, Timberlake, or even Nate Hills from RCM?!  I don’t know but it is keeping me thinking.  Lastly, there was a question about Andy.  The question came from a fan who had emailed in and basically asked them if they would take Andy back if he wanted to come back.  John didn’t answer that.  Instead, he said that Andy didn’t leave twice, technically, as the interviewer had said.  That really makes me think about what he means by that!!!

Overall, the show did what it was supposed to do.  I want to see more performances of the new material.  I want to see them enjoying themselves, each other and the music.  I also want more information in regards to those statements I mentioned above.  Dang that band for keeping my attention on them and what they are doing!  Luckily, more shows and interviews are supposed to follow!  I cannot wait!!!


The Today Show

This morning I got up early to watch Duran Duran on the Today Show.  I had been looking forward to this ever since they announced it.  I love to watch interviews with the guys as I always feel that they respond with good humor and intelligence.  Good interviews allow me to get a sneak peek at who they are as people and how they interact with each other.  Then, of course, I appreciate all promotion for a new album, tour, etc. as it works to get me more and more excited for what is coming next!

Well, this interview provided me with some excitement about the upcoming album as I loved hearing another snippet of the song, “All You Need Is Now” and always like hearing when they say that they plan on being musical for the rest of their lives.  I could also *squee* a little about how good they looked and how happy they seemed.  That said, I found myself getting frustrated by how Duran Duran was represented here (and in most interviews here in the U.S.).

This entire interview was framed by the 1980s and their teen idol status then.  Yes, I acknowledge that they made their mark in the 1980s and, yes, I can admit that they were teen idols then.  Yet, they have done so much more since 1980s.  I am not expecting the brief 5-6 minute interview to show clips from all eras of Duran’s history but I do think it would be nice to show more than 10 seconds of a live clip from 2008-2009, which is all they showed after 1984.  No wonder that the general public believes that they no longer exist.  The images show that they were a functioning band between 1981-1984 (Planet Earth to the Reflex) in this case.  Then, they show them playing ONE show in recent years.  Okay, yes, they mentioned that they were coming out with a new album but were any questions focused on this?  Nope.  There was no mention of Mark Ronson, even.  There were questions on their massive success in the 1980s, videos, etc.  The only current questions really were whether or not they play to be involved with music for the rest of their lives and the use of the internet.  Their response about the internet was so general and begged to have more questions asked.  How are they using the internet?  How is it changing the music industry?  Not only didn’t I get any follow up questions on that, I didn’t even get a question about touring.  What a lost opportunity.  Obviously, the interviewer could have asked many other questions not shown but still the show chose not to showcase the current status of the band in any real way.  Instead, we heard how the interviewer and her partner were fans. 

Do I believe that the interviewer and her partner on the show were fans?  I don’t know.  I suppose it depends on how you define “fan”.  Do I think that the female anchor liked songs like the Reflex?  Sure. Since there was no mention of Duran’s history after 1984 or her status as a fan after that song, the viewers are left to believe that Duran dropped off the face of the planet then.  Ugh.  Did I need the ten second clip of her explaining to them that she had waited a long time to meet them?  Nope.  I would have preferred a follow up to the internet question or a question about…the album!  Plus, I have to admit that I have NO desire to see pictures of people from 1989.  I don’t.  What is the point of including that?  To mock the 1980s?  Yippee.  Then, there is the male anchor.  He tries to seem like a fan as well because he knows Simon’s name but then seeks confirmation.  If he was a fan, he wasn’t a very big fan.  I suspect that most serious Duran fans can name every member, past and present.

Okay, enough complaining.  I’ll try to focus on the idea of how good they looked and how much I liked the clip of AYNIN!


Behind the Music

I apologize for the late blog entry today.  I wanted to wait to respond to the airing of Behind the Music, which aired tonight in the U.S.  First, let me say that I always enjoy watching shows featuring Duran and I especially like documentary-type programs.  It is pretty funny that I do since I feel like I could tell the history as well or better than the typical documentary, especially since they are pretty predictable.  Most Duran documentaries feature the following:  Why Nick and John formed the band, getting Andy from a Melody Maker ad, Simon’s audition in the leopard skin pants, the use and success from videos, Nile Rodgers, Power Station and Arcadia, Roger and Andy leaving, Ordinary World, John’s drug use, John’s leaving and now the reunion.  This was the first one I have seen since Red Carpet Massacre, however.

The original Behind the Music was one of my favorite Duran Duran documentaries as I felt like they had captured most of the important elements of their history, but, more importantly, they had captured the hysteria of the fandom and placed Duran in their rightful place, historically.  That said, I was dubious about how this new remastered one (interesting that they call it “remastered”, by the way) would be.  I enjoyed the program and was pleased to see that some of the more annoying elements of the original had been removed, including the bad rumor about Simon almost drowning during the making of the Wild Boys video.  I, of course, loved the new parts just because I’m dying for any and all footage of the band in their current state.  That said, I thought that the show’s editing and production could have been better.  They kept parts that I don’t understand.  For example, why keep Simon saying that he missed John?  That statement is out of date.  Why didn’t they ask Roger anything from their early history?  During the original, Roger did not appear but now his voice was noticeably missing.  Certainly they could have edited in some statements from him.  Overall, I just don’t feel like they blended the two parts together well.  They wanted to make it a smooth program but ignoring the fact that some interviews were done in 1998 and others in 2010 seems stupid.  Why not just have a part one and a part two?  Obviously, part one wouldn’t necessarily end the way the original ended but they could have ended part one right before the reunion and start part two at that moment.  It is a logical separation. 

The new part was mixed for me.  It started with the reunion and how the idea formed after John left.  Nick and Simon commented about how they had to tell Warren that he wasn’t a part of the future of Duran.  Simon, in particular, seems reflective about this.  Then, Rob Sheffield, the Rolling Stone writer, commented about how this was bittersweet for the fans as we had gratitude towards him.  Obviously, there were and are fans who love Warren and then there are others who were happy to see him go.  I’m not sure that Rob’s comment captures those feelings.  Then, the show moves forward to talk about their plan to tour and to show record companies that there was a demand for them.  This part did remind me of the excitement that the reunion, Astronaut and the tour, that followed, had.  From there, the show skimmed the surface of the controversial topics of the rejection of Reportage, Andy’s departure and RCM.  The narration did not dive into those issues and stuck to the least problematic versions.  While I understand that, in a way, I would have loved for the producers to go further, to go deeper like a real documentary.  Obviously, some interesting statements were made, but not enough to draw a serious conclusion.  First about Andy, Simon said that he was becoming very difficult to work with and that the whole band felt that.  Then, Roger said that it was a “ticking bomb” that they had all been feeling for over a year.  John ended the discussion by saying that they were moving in different directions.  Hmm…As for Reportage and RCM, the Sony executive said that they need an album with a “vibrant beat”.  Simon said that the record label didn’t “get” Reportage and the fans didn’t want RCM.  He isn’t wrong, at least when it comes to the two authors of this blog.  The show ended at the present day with Duran working with Mark Ronson on AYNIN.

I loved the ending of the show and admit to being terribly excited by what I have heard about and from this new album.  Ronson does seem to match Duran well and, clearly, he is an “ultimate Duran Duran fan”.  😀  Of course, the show leads the viewer to think that this is the time for the next wave of Duran success, whatever that might mean.  I obviously have no idea if this is true or not and won’t know for awhile.  What I’m hoping for is that this album is one that they like and are proud of.  This will help the fans to return as well.  One thing I noticed tonight was the number of fans watching and talking about it on message boards and social networking sites.  Clearly, the fans are starting to pay attention and are starting to get excited!